Box 1

Box 1
STEAM

Box 2

Box 2
Character Education

Box 3

Box 3
Digital Learning
Powered by Blogger.

Goals and Dreams





An oldie but a goodie, in my opinion. Back in case you missed it! It's January, and our annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is today. Martin Luther King Day has not always been a national holiday, and during all the years when school districts were sorting through whether they would observe by having school or by not having school, Dr. King's family has always reminded us to "Make it a day ON, not a day OFF."

So what are you doing in your classroom to commemorate the life of this American legend? In case you are still looking around for a few ideas to add to your lesson plan, here are some you might like. The Martin Luther King unit has always been my favorite one to teach because it reaches my students at their core. I love watching them search deep inside of themselves for who they are and what they stand for, and then find a way to share that with all of us. Isn't that just what Dr. King did: reach deep inside himself to find what really mattered and then try to share it with the world?

Of course, my fourth graders know about the "I Have a Dream" speech long before they reach their year with me, but not many are aware that Dr. King carefully chose the Lincoln Memorial as the place to deliver that speech and why. The second line of this speech begins, "Five score years ago...", referring to the Gettysburg address, which of course begins, "Four score and seven years ago...", referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Wait.... What's going on here...could there be some connection across time and history between people who tried to make things better for all of us? Of course there was. Here's the sequence I present to my students:

1. Read the Declaration of Independence together. (You can even do a CLOSE READ of it if you must!)
2. Discuss how the Declaration was kind of like a letter from the Founding Fathers to England that "This is how it's going to be around here from now on."
3. Read the Gettysburg Address together. I use a beautifully illustrated picture book for that reading by Abraham Lincoln, of course, but with illustrations by Michael McCurdy.
4. Discuss how the Gettysburg Address was really a letter from Lincoln to the Founding Fathers on how it was going 87 years after the signing of the Declaration.
5. Next we get to the famous Dream speech. There are so many illustrated versions of this speech. Wasn't this speech meant to be a letter informing President Lincoln that we as a people had not really come as far along as his vision  for us?  That's precisely why it was delivered right in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

For children (and many of their teachers!) who were not here when the Civil Rights Movement was happening, when Dr. King made his speeches, or when he was assassinated, I have found this sequence to be a pretty effective way of placing King Day in its proper historical perspective.

To add personal meaning to each child, I challenge my students to write a letter to Dr. King, telling him how we're doing today as the beneficiaries of his dream. How is that vision working for each of us?

My complete lesson plan, which adds a craftivity, poetry, literature and video resources, along with student samples and a rubric which makes grading a snap, is available by clicking here:



New for 2022: For a grounded approach to the "I Have a Dream" lesson, try this new resource which ties influential learnings to practical action in order to reach those dreams!

 


You might also like this free download to keep the love flowing through Acts of Kindness the rest of the year:


Who will make the difference to finally bring peace to all of us? Those sweet children sitting in all of our classrooms right now! The dream lives as long as people believe in it and believe that their actions will make a difference!

Artwork at the top of this page by Maya, one of my sweet students, keeping the dream alive!

If I can do anything else to help make your job easier this year, please let me know in the comments below! If I use your idea for a new blog post, you will win a TpT $10 gift card. If I create a new resource for Rainbow City Learning based on your idea, you will win a free copy of that resource to use in your classroom! (Note: all comments are reviewed before appearing on my blog. It may take a few hours for your comment to appear! Thanks for your patience!)




For more teaching ideas for this month, be sure  to check out the other blogs of Teacher Talk! 
For more great January teaching ideas, be sure to check out these Teacher Talk bloggers! 

If you would also like to be a part of Teacher Talk, we are a group of teacher bloggers who share posts that are heavy on the ideas with just a little selling of our educational materials at TeachersPayTeachers.com.  For more information about joining The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, go to https://bit.ly/3o7D1Dv.  Feel free to email me at retta.london@gmail.com if you have any questions. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

A Celebration of Values for the Holidays

Christmas and New Years

How do you celebrate "The Holidays" in your classroom? I have been seeing tons of pictures online, and honestly, most seem to be geared totally toward Christmas. Teachers dressed as elves, Ugly Christmas Sweater Days, Elf on the Classroom Shelf, and Christmas decorations everywhere. This always makes me pause and wonder if all the children in the classrooms whose posts I see are from Christian homes: homes that actually celebrate Christmas. 

I can tell you from my own childhood experiences that it is hard to be different during Christmas. It feels so lonely and alone. Even if they are not expressing this, many children are feeling this at this festive time of the year. 

For me, the celebrations at this time of the year are all about the values they instill in our hearts, not about the specific names or even specific religious practices. As a teacher of mostly diverse populations over the years, I have loved learning about the diverse celebrations that actually occur at this time of the year. The similarities have always amazed me. For one, the presence of candles in the rituals associated with so many of our winter holiday celebrations. Candles can symbolize so many different things, but they all succeed at bringing light and love into our hearts. Each of the winter holidays we have studied in our Rainbow City classroom has also come complete with lifelong values tidily wrapped up to reaffirm during the holiday season.

Celebrating Christmas

Celebrating Hanukkah

Celebrating Kwanzaa

And so, as we sing, wrap, greet, feast, and otherwise make merry during these winter months, it's also a great time to address values education with our children. What do we stand for? What's most important to us? What really lies beneath the shiny ribbons and glorious boxes?  Unless we teach in a religious school, we probably shouldn't be teaching religion at any time of the year. But values? Solid, character-building values? Of course we can address those!

In my opinion, Kwanzaa is a perfect holiday to address values that many of us hold dear already. This just may be the perfect year to get a Kwanzaa celebration going in all of our homes and classrooms, or at least in our homes in preparation for considering Kwanzaa as a more universal holiday to celebrate together in class next year. It is cultural rather than religious, and is filled with lights, colors, gifts, togetherness, and joy. 

If you prefer not to put a label of a specific holiday on your celebration of values, it will still work. Who could argue with celebration of unity in your classroom community? Or a celebration of the creativity that dwells within each of us? Responsibility? Self-determination? Purpose? Of course! All of these are so connected to what we try to instill in students every day in every lesson!

You might want to start by introducing a value each day (or each week) in your Morning Meeting discussion. Or start with journals. Start somewhere this year, and build on it next year. I have blogged about this before, but a favorite activity in my classroom for years was a carousel of holidays, where we shared the values, foods, and fun of each of our own special holidays. Here's a post you may be interested in:


For an actual Kwanzaa celebration or lesson, you might like this bundle I've put together for you!


Studying Christmas around the world may be fun and enriching for a homogeneous classroom, where all families celebrate Christmas. (Are you sure that EVERYONE in your class celebrates Christmas? Have you asked? Just asking again for a friend...that lonely child that I once was.) Even if you're positive that you stand before a truly homogeneous Christian class, taking a look at the values and celebrations of others can't hurt, and may be enlightening! 

Wishing you all the peace and joy that you seek in this holiday season!

I hope you have found a few ideas here to make this season of reflection more meaningful this year in your classroom. Please know that I am grateful for each and every one of you who reads this blog! 

If I can do anything else to help make your job easier this year, please let me know in the comments below! If I use your idea for a new blog post, you will win a TpT $10 gift card. If I create a new resource for Rainbow City Learning based on your idea, you will win a free copy of that resource to use in your classroom! (Note: all comments are reviewed before appearing on my blog. It may take a few hours for your comment to appear! Thanks for your patience!)


Christmas Celebration


For more great December teaching ideas, be sure to check out these Teacher Talk bloggers! 

If you would also like to be a part of Teacher Talk, we are a group of teacher bloggers who share posts that are heavy on the ideas with just a little selling of our educational materials at TeachersPayTeachers.com.  For more information about joining The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, go to https://bit.ly/3o7D1Dv.  Feel free to email me at retta.london@gmail.com if you have any questions. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Facing Tough Times in the Classroom



 And if you need a friend, I'm sailin' right behind.... (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel 1970) Sometimes each of us finds ourself in just that position. The water is rising around us, we are overwhelmed and searching for a solution, and really really really need a friend. Children and adults. Little difference. Stress and seemingly impossible life situations can and do overwhelm each of us at many points during our lives. We have many smooth sailing days, and the storm clouds start to take shape. Where to turn?


A very personal story: I was nearing the year I had planned to retire, when my district suddenly decided to close the school building where I had built my career. The staff and families were my family, and I truly felt adrift in a huge sea with a tiny boat. I moved to another building, as did many students from closed buildings (not mine). Two thirds of the teaching staff was displaced and new. My 174 boxes and I landed next door to the most revered and popular teacher in the school, the one everyone wanted their child to spend the year with. This could end badly, I thought as I unpacked. Maybe I should have retired a bit early.

Each of the four years I spent in the new school, I enjoyed many perfectly wonderful and easy to teach students along with some to whom the institution of education had not been as kind. Some of these kids had anger bottled up inside (maybe anger from their school closing, maybe other baggage), and I could relate. At times, as I stood before them trying to address our lesson plan, I felt the water rising. You could retire now, I always told myself, but there was always something, a little voice inside, tugging at me to stay and ride out the storm.

The much-loved and much-requested teacher next door? Quickly became a true friend, someone I could depend on, loved, and who respected me too! We began to share all the kids (along with the teachers who taught the third and fourth sections), collaborating on teaching different subjects for each other. Because who wants to teach science, right? Meeeee!!!! Technology????? My hand is up!!! Writing? I looovvve to read those adorable writing pieces every weekend. I read them aloud! Ask my husband. He has always sailed right behind me too!

One more personal story: I've always used music in my classroom. From the very beginning of my career, when I realized how much influence the Jackson Five had over my students. (Haha, yes. The Jackson Five. I'll be there...) Some energizing tunes for transitions could always get kids moving to the next session with a smile, and some soothing piano solos could relax reluctant writers and anxious mathematicians. During a trying time in my "new" classroom, I was looking around for some new music. I was observing some behavioral issues that resembled bullying to me, and I started searching for ways to "bullyproof" my students. I happened upon a TpT store called "I Am Bullyproof" with some amazing songs. The lyrics jumped out at me as just the kind that I'd like to encourage my kids to remember, and the tunes reminded me of soft folk-rock (a favorite genre of mine).

I started with "Got Your Back", and the rest is friendship history.
"I can't tell you how your life will work
It's a complicated earth.
But I really care...

If you just fell down 'n' you can't get up
If you've been runnin' ragged and you're plain outta luck
If your sweet spirit won't let you even laugh
Just know I'm here for you. Just know I've got your back."

Before long, my kids were singing that song as they transitioned from activity to activity in my room and as they walked in the halls from class to class. Singing sounds oh so much better than mindless wall-bouncing chatter. As  they finished the song, kids were ready for the next learning experience to come.

We moved on to several other "I Am Bullyproof" songs and I saw real and measurable differences in my kids. Episodes of nasty behavior and frequency of parent complaints about other people's children decreased, and collaboration and kindness increased. I'll take that!

I began communicating with Lessia Bonn, the amazing creator of these bullyproof tunes, and letting her know about the magic that she was creating in a faraway classroom. I bought all of her songs, and eventually began to collaborate with her on units to reinforce the messages in those songs, using literature and writing to meet the standards. You can find those units here. When I found the music of Lessia Bonn, I found a way to reach my students, and I discovered a friend for life. Click the image below to find the amazing units we created!




These are trying times for so many of us. As teachers, we have to be wary of our words when discussing current events with students. Music can speak for us. Since the Jackson Five assured us that "I'll be there" and way before that I'm sure, powerful lyrics and soulful tunes can get inside us, reassuring us, and changing each of us for the better.

That spring, I discovered yet another song from Lessia's studio, and found it to say everything I was searching for as I tried to offer encouragement to my after school Bullyproof performance club at our neighborhood middle school. Kids were moving on to high school and life beyond, and I was bringing our experiences together to a close. We discovered that being in that club did even more for each of us personally than it had for the students we were attempting to reach through our performances. You can find some of those performances here on You Tube.

We knew that the river of time that stretched before each of us was bound to have some pretty daunting and wide spots. The words of this song once again soothed our souls and helped us to journey forward. I listen to it myself from time to time and then seek out like-minded friends whenever I am feeling down. 2020-21 has been a particularly painful time for me, and I have returned to this song again and again to remind myself that there are friends I can talk with about local and world issues. Friends are always at your side when the river runs wide. You merely have to turn your head away from your "me" focus and listen to them.

Here's a free video to help you get a discussion started among your students. Everyone needs a friend to turn to when the river runs wide.


RIVER by Lessia Bonn

It fell apart, my broken heart
I thought my world would end but in my despair, I said a prayer 
‘n found myself a friend
CHORUS:
a cold river risin’ I was feelin’ so lost
you put your faith in me ‘n helped me make it across there’s always a way...I know that because
you were there by my side when the river ran wide you were there by my side when the river ran wide

How to let your kids know that they can turn to each other in tough times is not difficult, but you may need to shift a classroom practice or two to make it happen. I recommend the "conversational opportunity", a handy management tool I developed with my Rainbow City students long ago. The rules are simple. The conversational opportunity is to be used only for communication that can't wait until lunch, recess, or after school. It can be used to encourage someone or let them know they have a friend. It is not to be used for fooling around or wasting time. Short and focused. When kids feel respected and trusted, they get it. I used this "conversational opportunity" for more than twenty years in my own classroom, and cannot think of one time when the privilege was abused. I think it's a tool that might be helpful to you in your classroom.

Hoping that your river ahead is smooth sailing, with friends to help along the way if the water rises.









Four Easy Ways to Encourage an Attitude of Gratitude

How to Encourage an Attitude of Gratitude



How do we encourage an attitude of gratitude in our students?

It's that time of year again - the time so many of us stop and say thanks for all the gifts we receive from the universe each day. It's a very reflective season, leading up to a season of giving and often of overindulgence. I often wonder at this time of year what we can offer to our students that will make the reflective and thankful aspects of Thanksgiving last throughout the year. 

How long for an action, a thought, or a practice to become a habit? I've heard varying opinions on this, but most settle at right around three weeks. I tried this out myself recently. I've done it before while going through Covey training, while making plans for my students, or after watching Oprah. This time I did it just for me. I tried to think of and write down three things each day for 21 days that I am grateful for. Sometimes I just really miss Oprah! I think she nudged so many of us to become more reflective. 

At first, it was the usual list that comes to each of our minds immediately: our families. Spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandchildren. Then maybe some special moments with each of them. Then I expected the list making to grow more difficult. The great surprise (to me anyway) was  that it became easier and easier each day to think of three things that make me feel grateful, and in fact harder and harder to stop at just three. 

Grateful for a warm breeze against my cheek here in Michigan in November.
Grateful that I can easily walk into the mall from the farthest parking spot. (This revelation should come in very handy when holiday shopping begins in earnest, and the only spots available are the farthest!)
Grateful for the first rays of sun that wake me up now that I am retired. (Got up in the dark every day for years!)
My personal list continues to grow and grow.

What's on your list? Are you comfortable sharing at least a part of it with your students? 
Introducing an attitude of gratitude to your students and building upon it until it reaches habit status just might make a difference in the atmosphere of your class in general and in the life of each of your students in particular. 

Some easy to implement suggestions:


Declare your gratitude together.

Add a declaration of gratitude to your class meeting time. 
(I'd call it morning meeting time, but most years my class meeting was never in the morning. It's so important, I think, to have that community building time, no matter what  the time slot during your busy teaching day.) Use talking sticks, a rainstick, a special ball, or even a glittered leaf to get the discussion started. As each student receives the talking prop, he/she must state one thing, person, idea, aspect of their life for which they are grateful. (OK to "pass" until some great examples have been set and all have the idea.)


Change up your playlist.

If you don't already use music to inspire your students to be kinder, better, stronger versions of themselves, now is the perfect time to start. If you already use music to enhance your teaching and your collective day, brief pause here for applause and a pat on the back. (At least a silent cheer for you, awesome teacher!) Add some songs to your daily playlist with the theme of gratitude. Two of my favorites available online for free (just click and enjoy!):






Journal it!

If your students already have journals, tab a section of it for thoughts of gratitude. If you would rather, start a new gratitude journal that kids can keep all year to nurture and continue to grow their new habit of declaring gratitude. Write right along with them at least at first. Make yours honest, heartfelt, descriptive, and a beautiful example of the way you'd like theirs to look. Use special paper, markers, pencils, etc. to embellish it. I have a Pinterest board where I save ideas for journaling that inspire me. Feel free to take a peek or to follow!




To encourage an attitude of gratitude this month, and to keep it going throughout the rest of your school year, try Rainbow City Learning's November Super Bundle! If you love this bundle, you will be happy to know that there is one for every month of the school year! Each month has a different theme.



I hope you have found a few ideas here to make this season of reflection more meaningful this year in your classroom. Please know that I am grateful for each and every one of you who reads this blog! 

If I can do anything else to help make your job easier this year, please let me know in the comments below! If I use your idea for a new blog post, you will win a TpT $10 gift card. If I create a new resource for Rainbow City Learning based on your idea, you will win a free copy of that resource to use in your classroom! (Note: all comments are reviewed before appearing on my blog. It may take a few hours for your comment to appear! Thanks for your patience!)



Attitude of Gratitude


For more November thoughts on teaching, be sure to check out the posts below by the amazing bloggers in Teacher Talk. 

If you would also like to be a part of Teacher Talk, we are a group of teacher bloggers who share posts that are heavy on the ideas with just a little selling of our educational materials at TeachersPayTeachers.com.  For more information about joining The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, go to https://bit.ly/3o7D1Dv.  Feel free to email me at retta.london@gmail.com if you have any questions. 



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Seven Candy Activities to Make Your Goblins Want to Share


Fun Candy Activities for Kids

It's Candy O'Clock! The store shelves may be lacking some essential paper items, but they are currently chock full of Halloween candy of every description in those cute little individual bags! Trick or Treating is so much fun, but how many kids can actually eat all the candy in their haul? It's estimated that most kids will consume about 3,190 empty calories from their Trick or Treat bags. For most kids, that won't even make a dent in the stash. Here are some suggestions to make better use of the annual sugar rush and make your classroom goblins want to share!

Switch Witch

The Legend of the Switch Witch

My head is currently spinning while trying to find out who owns the concept of the Switch Witch. Apparently, you can't copyright an idea and so the Switch Witch legend is now part of the public domain. The original Switch Witch book is available on that book selling internet giant and also at some smaller booksellers. I purchased a cute witch and book from a Colorado company (switchwitches.com) which I thought would be useful for upper elementary students. This book talks about the magic of Switchcraft. 

The legend was originally created to help a diabetic toddler to see another use for the trick or treat candy that she couldn't eat. According to legend, various Switch Witches travel all over the world before Halloween. They will exchange your Halloween candy for other fun toys/gifts. They watch over you in a way similar to the Elf on a Shelf concept.

My classroom application: My Rainbow City classroom always had a store (We called it the Rainbow City Boutique!) open on Fridays. Kids could exchange classroom dollars earned through good behavior and work efforts for school supplies, handmade items by their classmates, or materials to make their own items to sell. More about how this economy worked can be found here

Whether you have a classroom shop or not, you can place a cute witch doll on a table next to a box which can be sealed (like a plastic storage container with lid). Our school was on the edge of a forest. Forests have mice. Need I say more? Didn't think so. 

After Halloween, your students can bring their wrapped Halloween candy to school and trade it in for whatever you (The Switch Witch) decide to offer in exchange. You can use a witch doll or dress up yourself. I'm pretty sure that a parent might be willing to dress up and volunteer for this job as well!

For a followup writing activity, ask your students to write a letter to the Switch Witch about what they would like in exchange for their candy!

What will you do with all the candy you collect? Save it and read on!

Harriet's Halloween

Many years ago, an AIMS (Activities in Math and Science) activity was published in their journal using the picture book Harriet's Halloween Candy. The story was about an anthropomorphic dog who didn't want to share her Halloween Candy. The activity was all about sorting according to different attributes such as chocolate/not chocolate, individually wrapped/package wrapped, plastic wrappers/paper wrappers, by color, by ones they like/don't like, etc. 

Upper elementary kids should be able to come up with four different ways to sort their stash. I made a sorting page for you to use below. You're welcome.

After sorting, my class would make goody bags to be handed out at the local food pantry as a treat for homeless kids or those unable to trick or treat in their own neighborhoods. Some senior citizens centers will take these donations also. 

Cute graphics on this page are from Melonheadz.

Harriet's Halloween Candy Activity


Getting to Know Us Again

Depending on how quickly you opened your room and got students back to school, you may or may not have tried this fun Morning Meeting activity. You can play it with Skittles, M&Ms, or any wrapped small candies. I've played it with pennies, and some teachers use toilet paper squares. As students enter the circle, ask them to "Take as many" as they need. As you go around the circle, each child has to say something about themself for each of the number of pieces they've chosen. 

This game can have so many adaptations: Say something nice about a classmate for each piece, say something new that has happened in your life for each piece, tell something new you learned in class last week for each one, use them to tell the steps of something that you know how to cook or build or create.

So many ways to reacquaint ourselves as a classroom community!

Poetry Writing

Here's a funny and fun poem for Halloween from Shel Silverstein's book, Every Thing On It. The cute graphics on this page are from the amazing Glitter Meets Glue. You're welcome again!

Kids can write their own poems, using this as a model. Who do they think invented Trick or Treating? They can also write Five Senses Poems or another poetry form about Halloween. 

The One Who Invented Halloween Page


STEAM

From Saving Sam (or Fred or...) to Pumpkin Catapults and Pretzel Stick Bridges, there are so many ways to use candy in your STEM/STEAM activities. If you've collected candy from the Switch Witch suggestion, you can use it again and again to supplement your Maker Space and STEM/STEAM activities.
Here's a fun one from my Stepping Into STEAM resource. 

Stepping Into STEAM Rainbow City Learning

Notes and Awards

Pay it forward! Use some of your "switchcrafted" stash to attach to thank you notes for PTA or Staff Appreciation days. Some years, we have sent care packages to our troops. It is also fun to attach candy to Clean Desk Awards. 


 Candy Book Discussions

 I have used M & M Book discussion cards during Daily 5 time. Wow! Not only was I able to have 10 book conferences in less than one hour, but I could really tell how deeply those books had been read. 

Worked with two multi-level groups of 5 each. Students randomly selected an M&M from their Halloween-sized bags (perfect time of year to try this), and told the group about their book as the prompt directed.
 
Did not hear one "I pass." or one "I don't know." The conversation flowed, and the students were thrilled to keep their cute laminated M & M bookmarks to prepare for their next discussion.  Eight more students signed up for conferences for the next day, and several were heard as they packed to go home that they couldn't wait to get back into their independent reading books that night.
A fun day interacting with my readers! Hope you'll try it!  

For a convenient download of the free pages shown above, just click here! 



BIG NEWS!

If I can do anything else to help make your job easier this year, please let me know in the comments below! If I use your idea for a new blog post, you will win a TpT $10 gift card. If I create a new resource for Rainbow City Learning based on your idea, you will win a free copy of that resource to use in your classroom! (Note: all comments are reviewed before appearing on my blog. It may take a few hours for your comment to appear! Thanks for your patience!)


Wishing you and your class a safe and fun Halloween this year!

For more October thoughts on teaching, be sure to check out the posts below by the amazing bloggers in Teacher Talk. 

If you would also like to be a part of Teacher Talk, we are a group of teacher bloggers who share posts that are heavy on the ideas with just a little selling of our educational materials at TeachersPayTeachers.com.  For more information about joining The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, go to https://bit.ly/3o7D1Dv.  Feel free to email me at retta.london@gmail.com if you have any questions. 





You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

SUPER BUNDLE SALE AND GIVEAWAY



Teacher friends, don't miss this amazing bundle sale and the PRE SALE GIVEAWAY! Be sure to read this entire post to discover the savings and the FREE RESOURCE that awaits you! 

If you purchase the Elementary 3-5 bundle between Oct. 3-10, using my affiliate link (Here it is, but don't use it to purchase until Oct. 3! ) , you may choose an additional resource from my store valued at $5.50 or less. Just email me to get your free resource after purchase.

Meanwhile, read on to see the amazing values awaiting you in just one short week!



 



Social Studies Super Bundles


Are you constantly spending time searching for updated social studies materials? Or, are you always trying to find ways for students to have FUN while learning social studies content? Is there an anxious feeling while trying to differentiate for each student? Don’t worry, you are not alone! It can be so hard to find engaging content that will work for all students. Thankfully, there are Social Studies Super Bundles ready for purchase. However, these bundles are so amazing that they won’t be available forever. The Social Studies Super Bundles are only available from October 3rd-10th. The bundles are so amazing that you are going to want to set your calendar reminder now!


Benefits of Available Bundles


Sometimes, people are hesitant to purchase bundles due to the higher upfront cost. There is often concern over the quality of all of the resources and if this justifies the cost. Thankfully, the Social Studies Super Bundles are filled with TONS of high-quality printable and digital resources. Be sure to see how amazing the resources are! It will be evident that all of the activities are fun, engaging, worthwhile lessons! Even better, the bundles are only $20 during this exclusive sale! 


After purchasing, huge stress will be lifted due to spending less time planning. HOURS of your time will be saved with these ready-to-go resources! Even better, all of the resources bring in updated and innovative teaching strategies. For example, students will be playing digital games, moving to stations, using Boom Cards, and completing web searches. Therefore, you will be able to read the book on your list, catch up on TV, play with your kids, or take a much-needed nap. After purchasing these bundles, say goodbye to stressing over lesson planning! 


Win the super social studies bundle before you can buy it. Valued over $1000 

Enter the free giveaway 

Secondary American History Bundle 


For only $20, teachers will receive dozens of resources! It is filled with fun, engaging, hands-on activities in order to ensure students are focused! For instance, they will complete stations about WWII, analyze primary resources, study the Oregon Trail, and take doodle notes. Furthermore, students will complete a Genius Hour project and study the American Revolution and Women’s Suffrage. Students will truly love American History with this bundle! 





Secondary Ancient Civilization and World History Bundle


Sometimes, students have trouble understanding why the past is so important to learn about. Therefore, this $20 bundle will bring in creative ways to show students how current societies learn from ancient civilizations. To do this, students will learn about many topics, such as refugees, lives of Pharaohs, WW1, and Athens Sparta. As above, lessons are filled with engaging materials, such as projects, graphic organizers, and webquests!


Secondary Government Bundle


Due to the different branches and legal components, Government can be a really hard topic to understand. There is just so much to learn! Hence, this $20 bundle has tons of activities that will break down complex topics. For instance, students will learn about a bill becoming a law, criticisms of Congress, and due process.  Just like the above, all of the activities are high-quality and filled with updated teaching methods. 


Secondary Geography Bundle 


In this $20 bundle, students will gain a much better understanding of locations and landforms. For example, lessons focus on Latin America, landforms on Earth, and 5 themes of geography. Students will have so much fun learning that they won’t even realize how they are processing really complex information! 


SUPER Secondary Bundle 


If you are like many secondary social studies teachers, you have multiple preps. While you want to give each class your absolute best, it can be hard when planning so many lessons! Thankfully, there is a SUPER bundle that includes all 4 bundles above which includes over $600 in products! For only $60, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders! Every single prep will be filled with activities students love! 


Elementary Social Studies Bundle (Grades 3-5)


As students get older, they are ready to learn more complex topics. Here, students will learn about protest movements, history headlines, the Constitution, and national parks. Furthermore, students will read nonfiction reading passages, practice map skills, and learn to protect the environment. Truly, there is an entire year's worth of activities included in order to ensure students learn all about history with over $400 of products. Even better, the entire bundle only costs $20! 


Elementary Social Studies Bundle (Grades K-2)


As students start to understand the importance of a strong community, they are ready to learn where this originated from. Thus, students will learn about different communities, responsible decision making, and teamwork. Additionally, students will learn connections between the past and present and how to read basic components of a map. There are so many activities included that will last throughout the entire year! As above, the entire bundle is only $20


SUPER Elementary Bundle 


Many teachers are responsible for multiple grade levels. Therefore, there is so much to prep! In order to best meet the needs of all teachers, you can buy both elementary bundles for only $35


When buying the  Social Studies Super Bundles for a HUGE discount, tremendous stress will be lifted from your plate! Since over 45 sellers came together to create these incredible bundles, they won’t be around for long. You can save hundreds of dollars and hours of time. Grab it from October 3rd through October 10th at 11:59 PM only. This is a one-time opportunity, so be sure not to miss out!


Open the Magic

Open the Magic Day

National Open the Magic Day will be celebrated for the first time this  year on September 25. Who knew? I certainly didn't, but found this gem when checking out the National Day calendar. "Open the Magic Day" is the brainchild of Ramona Recommends, a fabulous source for reading ideas for your elementary students. Read "Ramona's" amazing story here. Welcome back! Do you need a tissue for your tears? Back to Open the Magic Day: one day before my birthday, and what a great day to commemorate in our classrooms! Don't bring me a birthday gift or cupcake. Bring me your favorite picture book and read your favorite part to me!

Open the Magic brings to mind trips to Disney, waiting for the parks to open each morning, opening gifts on a holiday morning, your first time riding your bike without the training wheels, holding a new baby in your arms, and so much more. The phrase could have so many meanings to each of us. Teacher goal: Make every student feel as if they are opening the magic every time they open a book. No pressure. You have all year, and you definitely have done harder things.

 This particular holiday is perfect for a whole week's celebration. It celebrates read aloud, picture books, the love of reading, and the student who has not yet found their love of reading. Since Open the Magic Day falls on a weekend this year, why not start the celebration first thing Monday morning on September 20, and end on Friday afternoon, September 24. If I were still in the classroom, we would be celebrating nonstop. 

Open the Magic with Picture Books

Picture books. Picture books are for everyone! Picture books can illustrate and connect concepts across your curriculum. It's never the wrong time to pull one off the shelf! You might try reading a picture book each day right after Morning Meeting, or read just a few pages if time is an issue. A page or two might be just what is needed to make kids want to read or hear more. Kids could bring their favorite picture book to your meeting, and you could randomly choose one or two to share by reading favorite parts aloud. 

Confetti Moments in Reading

"Confetti Moments" another brainchild of our Courtney (aka Ramona). Nothing short of brilliant! The title alone evokes feelings that tell you exactly what it means. When you have a one-to-one reading conference with one of your students, might you ask for a specific confetti moment from the book they are reading? Is there a sentence or a paragraph that reached deep into your heart or brain, making you feel like tossing a handful of confetti? Maybe that particular page is worthy of a special sticky note, decorated with marker dots (ok, I might use a little glitter glue and give several to each student just as a starter pack). 

Random teacher tip: I have discovered that Swiffer Dry Cloths are amazing glitter collectors. Use them for a quick and effective cleanup after a glitter project. I have a home art room now (I know! Right?) and find that box of Swiffers is my new BFF. 

Back to our original topic! Books are magic! Reading is magic! We all know it, have observed it over and over in our classrooms, and want every child to feel it. What better time than now to actively notice the magic and celebrate reading at every opportunity! Thank you, Ramona Recommends, for bringing this to our attention with a special day!

I know you'll find something to love at Rainbow City Learning as you Open the Magic of Reading in your classroom this year!

Reading Resources to Open the Magic






For more September thoughts on teaching, be sure to check out the posts below by the amazing bloggers in Teacher Talk. 

If you would also like to be a part of Teacher Talk, we are a group of teacher bloggers who share posts that are heavy on the ideas with just a little selling of our educational materials at TeachersPayTeachers.com.  For more information about joining The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, go to https://bit.ly/3o7D1Dv.  Feel free to email me at retta.london@gmail.com if you have any questions. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter